Finland Olympiad Walking Festival 2025

Part 1: Denmark & Sweden
Estimated dates – August 5 – 14, 2025 • 10 Days
Part 2: Baltic States
Estimated dates – August 17 – 26, 2025 • 10 Days
Extension/Pre-tour: Finland Olympiad
August 14 – 17, 2025 • 4 Days
Must be combined with either Part 1 or Part 2

This wide-ranging odyssey explores several countries of Northern and Eastern Europe using the international biennial Olympiad walking festival in Finland as the focal point.

The tour connects with major sites in Denmark & Sweden leading up to the Olympiad in Finland. Following the Olympiad, the journey continues south across the Baltic Sea into the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, finishing in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Travelers are now invited to hold their spots with a refundable $100 preregistration deposit. Please indicate which parts of the tour interest you noting that the full itinerary is more than 20 days.

An on-site scouting trip will be conducted by WAI tour planners in the summer of 2024. Itineraries for all 3 parts of the tour will be finalized and priced following that planning trip.

Travelers who pre-register will then receive a Priority Booking Invitation for full registration when the tour is finalized. Full registration requires an additional $200 ($300 total registration).

NOTE: IVV walk stamps will be offered for at least one walk in Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. All of the events offered in Finland offer IVV stamps.

As of May 25, 2024, response to this one-of-a-kind survey of Northern Europe has been very strong. As a result, WAI now plans to offer 3 buses on staggered schedules. Cancellations are highly likely, so although we cannot guarantee spots on the tour for those who pre-register after May 25, 2024, chances are good that space will become available and the refundable pre-registration deposit is the way to hold your place on a wait list.


Trip Details

Part 1: Denmark & Sweden

Below is a projected itinerary to be finalized after a summer 2024 scouting trip by WAI tour planners

  • Roskilde, Denmark: Charming Roskilde sits on Roskilde Fjord and was Denmark’s medieval capital before Copenhagen rose to prominence. Roskilde is a great place to base our visit to Denmark starting with an enlightening walking trail past imposing UNESCO World Heritage Roskilde Cathedral (burial place of most of Denmark’s monarch), an excellent waterfront Viking Ship Museum, and the medieval waterfront district of delightful thatched-roof cottages.
  • Copenhagen, Denmark: Copenhagen is a perfect place to explore on foot. We’ve included walks in Copenhagen in all our visits to Denmark, going back to the early 90s. The Little Mermaid statue, Strøget (Europe’s longest pedestrian street), the colorful harbor of Nyhavn, City Hall Square and the famous statue of Hans Christian Andersen, dramatic Rosenborg Castle, Christiansborg Palace, seat of the Danish Parliament, and Tivoli Gardens, are just a few of the highlights of this multi-faceted trail through Denmark’s capital and one of Europe’s great cities.
  • Zealand, Denmark: Denmark’s main island is the center of the country’s history and economy. In addition to time in Roskilde and Copenhagen, we visit Kronborg Castle (also called Elsinore), another UNESCO site perched strategically on the Øresund, the narrow strait separating Denmark and Sweden, and setting for Shakespeare’s epic drama, “Hamlet”.
  • Ales Stenar (Ale’s Stones): This significant archeological and historical site is a megalithic, Viking-era monument composed of 59 sandstone boulders weighing up to 1.8 tons each sited in shape of a ship approximately 220 feet long. Archeologists debate its purpose and meaning, but while we puzzle on this mystery, we may also take advantage of attractive hiking trails available here overlooking the Baltic.
  • Öland, Sweden: The entire southeastern coast of Sweden has been inhabited for 1000s of years. We encounter further reminders of the Viking past and even further back in the mists of time on Öland, Sweden’s second-largest island, siting in the Baltic Sea just off the coast from the renaissance town of Kalmar. In addition to Viking-era ring forts, Öland is known for picturesque wooden windmills, royal residences, including Solliden Palace and Gardens, and Alvaret, a unique, UNESCO-listed limestone plain with its own distinct flora and fauna.
  • Stockholm, Sweden: Sweden’s capital is surrounded by water and is imminently walkable, offering a trail amongst expansive green spaces on Djurgården Island and through historic, medieval streets in Gamla Stan (Old Town) past the Royal Place and Stockholm Cathedral. A stop at the Vasa Museum is a highlight to a Stockholm visit, built around the excavated remains of a massive 17th warship with a fatal design flaw that caused it to sink on its maiden voyage.
  • Stockholm Archipelago transit: The best way to depart Sweden is on a relaxing evening cruise through its archipelago of over 30,000 islands, islets, and skerries while enjoying an expansive Swedish smorgasbord aboard one of the ferries linking Sweden and Finland.

Part 2: Baltic States

Below is a projected itinerary to be finalized after a summer 2024 scouting trip by WAI tour planners

  • Tallinn, Estonia: With names hinting at the character and charm of this wonderfully walkable Baltic capital, Tall Hermann and Fat Margaret are just a few of the medieval towers standing guard over Tallinn’s impressive, UNESCO-listed city walls.
  • Tartu, Estonia: This vibrant, medieval university town offers picturesque walkscapes through the old parts of town. The Kärevere trail outside of town takes us past lovely bucolic landscapes and through timeless rural villages.
  • Cesis, Latvia: Charming Cesis makes the believable claim of being the most Latvian town in Latvia. A walk here introduces us to 13th century Cesis Castle, Old Town Square, Cesis Brewery, or one of the tranquil city parks along the winding Gauja River.
  • Gauja National Park, Latvia: The country’s oldest and largest national park offers diverse landscapes and hiking trails featuring forest and river views as well as historic sites like Sigulda Castle. Dainu Hill is the site of Latvia’s traditional song festivals, important cultural anchors from Latvia’s past.
  • Riga, Latvia: Latvia’s capital on the Baltic offers plenty of great walking with highlights like Riga Central Market, one of Europe’s largest and most vibrant markets; Bastejkalns Park and Freedom Monument, symbol of Latvian independence; the neo-classical grandeur of the Latvian National Opera and Ballet; and perhaps some strolling in Eplanade Park.
  • Kemeri National Park, Latvia: This unique trail introduces us to the Latvia’s distinctive bog landscape and features the Sulfur Springs Boardwalk with its unique sulfur fragrance and bubbling mud pots and Great Kemeri Bog Boardwalk with colorful mosses, small bog pools, and singular plant life.
  • Hill of Crosses, Lithuania: A 200-foot-long hill set in Lithuanian farmland became a focal point for religious and nationalistic resistance against domineering, atheistic Russia rule beginning in the mid-19th century Despite armed Soviet efforts to block the practice, crosses continued to materialize magically on the hillside with the help of Lithuanian Christians and patriots. In recent decades, the phenomenon of the Hill of Crosses has become a major attraction for international visitors.
  • Vilnius, Lithuania: A multifaceted walk here takes us through UNESCO-listed Vilnius Old Town, quirky, bohemian Užupis, Gediminas Avenue shopping district, Cathedral Square with lovely Vilnius Cathedral, and the grounds of Vilnius University, one of Eastern Europe’s oldest centers of learning.

Extension or Pre-tour: Finland Olympiad Walking Festival

  • 4 days of walking and cultural activities around Tampere, Finland during the endless days of summer. Events also include cycling, swimming, canoeing, & orienteering

Adventure Pace

Tour Pace: 1 2 3 4 5
Walk Challenge: 1 2 3 4 5

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Olympiad 2025: Scandinavia & the Baltics